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Garfield Austin

Garfield Austin began playing the trombone at 12 and, like many classical brass players, was initially immersed in the world of brass bands; as principal of the 70-strong county youth band but also the youngest member of the West of England Champions, Camborne Town. As one of the senior British brass bands, Camborne recorded recitals for BBC Radio 3 and were Championship Section national finalists. Despite this background he counts as his greatest inspirations the jazz trombonists Tommy Dorsey and Urbie Green and the American classical virtuoso Ronald Barron. 

Garfield made the move to classical performing and attained his RCM performance diploma under the guidance of the doyen of modern British orchestral trombonists, Denis Wick, and went on to study advanced orchestral technique with Ian Bousfield (Principal Trombone, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra) and Dudley Bright (Principal Trombone, London Symphony Orchestra).  He has performed with professional ensembles including Chaconne Brass, Bath Philharmonia, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, BSO Brass Ensemble and The Sinfonietta.  

For 17 years he combined his performance work with a busy teaching schedule, propelling students into the National Children’s Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra and National Youth Wind Ensemble.  Several former pupils are now professional players themselves. Since 2014 he has concentrated on performance work but retains a keen interest in young developing trombonists and teaches on an ad hoc consultative basis.  He recently produced a major set of studies to assist students advancing beyond Grade 8.

Garfield has been playing with Bristol Ensemble since 2004. The orchestra’s esprit de corps, commitment to the highest standards and sheer versatility – tackling the widest range of works – mean the ensemble is the most musically fulfilling activity in his diary.  When not holding a trombone, Garfield can often be found wielding professional camera equipment around, an activity he has pursued for several decades.